The Frick Art & Historical Center, also know as The Frick Pittsburgh, is a cluster of museums and historical buildings located at 7227 Reynolds Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States and formed around the Frick family’s nineteenth-century residence known as “Clayton”. It focuses on the interpretation of the life and times of Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919), industrialist and art collector.
Located on the Pittsburgh estate of late-19th-century industrialist Henry Clay Frick, The Frick Pittsburgh is the steward of collections left as a legacy to the people of Pittsburgh by Frick’s daughter, Helen Clay Frick. The permanent collections include fine and decorative arts, cars, carriages, and historic objects.
Clayton, the Henry Clay Frick family mansion, is one of the most intact Gilded Age homes in the United States and possesses general significance as an artifact of American social history and a document of American and regional architecture. Restored to its original glory and opened as a house museum in 1990, an astonishing 93% of Clayton’s artifacts are original.
The Frick family’s carriages and automobiles provided the inspiration for the development of the Car and Carriage Museum, today home to a collection of more than twenty vintage automobiles. A museum of transportation design and history, the Car and Carriage Museum also presents temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
Also included on the Frick’s 5.5-acre site of beautifully landscaped lawns and gardens are the Frick children’s playhouse, designed by renowned architects Alden & Harlow, a large working greenhouse (also designed by Alden & Harlow), the Grable Visitor Center, which houses the Frick Museum Store, an Education Center, and The Café at the Frick.
The Frick Pittsburgh is a museum located on five acres of beautifully landscaped lawns and gardens in the city’s historic East End. Tour the Henry Clay Frick family home, Clayton—one of the best preserved Gilded Age mansions in America. Enjoy masterpieces of European art and changing exhibitions in the art museum and explore the collection of historic cars and carriages.
Built by Helen Clay Frick in 1969, The Frick Art Museum displays an exquisite permanent collection of European paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 14th to 18th centuries, and presents outstanding temporary exhibitions from some of the world’s finest collections and museums. Helen Clay Frick (1888—1984) was the driving force to preserve the Frick estate and allow it to open to the public after her death.
The Frick Art Museum
Designed by Pittsburgh architects Pratt, Schafer & Slowik, the Italian Renaissance-style Frick Art Museum houses the collection of Helen Clay Frick, founder of the Frick Art & Historical Center. The museum displays work collected by Miss Frick, which features French 18th-century painting and decorative arts, and early Italian Renaissance painting.
The Frick Art Museum was opened in 1970 to house Helen Clay Frick’s personal collection of fine and decorative arts, which has particularly outstanding examples of early-Renaissance Sienese painting, and 18th-century French painting, furniture, and decorative arts. The Museum was designed to exhibit the collection in an atmosphere of intimacy.
Highlights of the permanent collection include a portrait by Rubens, a pastoral scene by Boucher, and Italian panel paintings by Giovanni di Paolo and Sassetta.
The museum also hosts an ongoing schedule of traveling exhibitions and related lectures, tours and workshops.
Car and Carriage Museum
After the turn of the 20th century, the development of the automobile profoundly changed American life. In the Car and Carriage Museum, visitors can travel back to the time of carriages, see some of the first horseless carriages to have an impact on Pittsburgh and learn about Pittsburgh’s role in the developing automobile industry.
The Car and Carriage Museum houses the Frick’s collection of historic carriages and automobiles dating back to the turn of the 20th century. Recent expansion and renovation initiatives provide for added space, higher ceilings and better lighting to improve your visitor experience.
Henry Clay Frick’s 1914 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost touring car and Howard Heinz’s 1898 Panhard (reputed to be the first car in Pittsburgh) are both on view, apart of a selection of historic vehicles that illustrate the story of how the automobile transformed early-20th-century life.
Greenhouse and Gardens
The path that winds through the Frick’s 5.5-acre site is lined with lush gardens and a diverse selection of trees. Our active greenhouse is a renovation and partial reconstruction of one that served the Frick family from 1897 through the 1970s. The original greenhouse, designed by architects Alden & Harlow, was used to grow flowers and tropical plants for Clayton year-round, as well as annuals from seed for outdoor beds, vegetables, and mushrooms.
The home of the Henry Clay Frick family from 1882–1905, this meticulously restored 22-room mansion features an impressive array of fine and decorative art objects purchased by the Fricks. Docent-led tours of the home provide an inside view of daily life at the turn of the 20th century and a better understanding of Pittsburgh during the Gilded Age.
Grable Visitor Center
Here, you can learn about the collections, the Frick family and Pittsburgh history, and schedule a tour of Clayton. Explore our interactive educational technology to delve more deeply into our site. Return throughout the day to expand your knowledge in our Learning and Reading Rooms. Be sure to peruse the unique selection of items for sale at the Frick Museum Store.
Designed by the architectural team of Schwartz/Silver and Associates (Boston) and Loysen + Kreuthmeier (Pittsburgh) the 3,000-square-foot Grable Visitor Center is located in the center of the Frick’s 5.5-acre campus. Façades composed of low-iron, high-transparency glass and Pennsylvania sandstone integrate the new building into the existing landscape. Inside, a wood ceiling suspended by glass walls provide views of the vast Frick grounds. A porcelain tile floor laid in a herringbone pattern suggests decorative elements at Clayton.
To enhance the Frick’s environmental sustainability, the construction adheres to LEED standards. The glass design of the Grable Visitor Center provides a visual connection to the Frick’s park-like setting, and enhances the “green” character of the facility through the use of natural daylight. An exterior sun louver system reduces heat-gain and energy consumption required for cooling. Building materials were selected based on recycled and Low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) content and, where possible, were harvested and manufactured within 500 miles of Pittsburgh.
The collection at The Frick Pittsburgh includes early Italian Renaissance devotional painting, Renaissance and Baroque bronze statuettes, 18th-century French painting and decorative arts, Chinese porcelain, English portraits, and works on paper by Jean-François Millet.
The Frick Art Museum’s collection includes a large group of works on paper by Jean-François Millet, Renaissance and Baroque bronzes, and nineteenth-century European paintings. There are also Late Medieval and Renaissance paintings of a devotional nature by: Bernardo Daddi, Lippo Memmi, Giovanni di Paolo, Francesco di Vannuccio (“Saint Catherine”), Rainaldo di Rainuccio da Spoleto, Sassetta, Matteo Di Giovanni, Francesco Melzi, and Jean Bellegambe. In the Frick Art Museum, there are Renaissance and Baroque paintings with secular themes by: Apollonio Di Giovanni (“Scenes from Homer’s Odyssey”), Jean-Louis de Marne (“Seine at Saint Cloud”), Carle Van Loo, Maurice Quentin de la Tour, Peter Paul Rubens, Jan Steen, Jan van Os, and Arthur Devis. In Clayton, in the mansion Frick lived in are 19th Century paintings by Jules Cazin, Jean-François Raffaëlli, and Anton Mauve.
Automobiles on display include an 1881 Brougham, 1898 Panhard et Levassor Tonneau, 1903 Baker Electric, 1906 Outing Wagon, 1909 Bailey Electric Phaeton, 1909 Keystone Sixty-Six Roadster, 1911 Penn 30 Touring Car, 1912 Daimler Landaulet, 1914 Ford Model T Touring Car, 1914 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Touring Car, 1917 Standard Model E Touring Car, 1924 Auto Red Bug Flyer, 1931 Lincoln Model K Sport Phaeton, and 1940 American Bantam Convertible Coupe.
The collections at the Frick Art & Historical Center encompass a wide variety of fine and decorative arts, cars, carriages, buildings and other items related to the Frick family’s life in Pittsburgh.
The Frick Art & Historical Center stress hands-on, interactive learning. From the items in Clayton that were part of the Frick family’s day-to-day lifestyle, to the carriages and motorcars that embody the history of transportation, our programs provide collaborative experiences and encourage deductive reasoning and critical thinking for all ages.
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